Veterans battling homelessness surviving the cold
LOS ANGELES - Wednesday is Veteran's Day, as there will be virtual celebrations and parades across the country.
But the day won't be much different for one group of veterans without homes living near the wealthy West Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood.
Instead of getting their computers set up for a virtual celebration, these veterans are trying to stay warm while sleeping inside a tent or in the streets.
"It's getting cold," said Army Veteran Richard Reeves Jr. "Not a lot of us have a tent out."
Just outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs on San Vicente Boulevard, you'll find one tent after another, draped with American flags, all of them belonging to U.S. Veterans battling homelessness.
"There are days when we don’t know when our next meal is coming from," said Army Veteran Joseph William Fields.
Fields has been living in the area on-and-off for the last five years. He said trying to get help from the VA can be time consuming and frustrating.
"There are only a couple of programs that will help veterans with PTSD like mine," Reeves said.
Rob Reynolds, a veteran advocate with AMVETS, knows what it's like to be in Fields and Reeves' shoes.
"In 2018, I came to the VA and I needed services and I was denied service and I ended up on the sidewalk," Reynolds said.
Reynolds, now a veteran advocate, said he cares deeply for these fellow veterans.
"I’ve seen camaraderie," he said. "I've seen these guys come together. They’re out here cleaning, they’re out here supporting one another and it’s a beautiful thing to see. This is different from other homeless encampments."
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